Sundown Marathon – Race Report

I know it’s been a while since I posted the fact I was about to toe the line at the Sundown half marathon but several weeks later I think I’ve finally cooled down!

In summary….it was hot and humid!  The race location was the first challenge as it runs alongside the Singapore Airport and there is pretty much only one access road which leads to the venue so traffic was a problem.  This was further compounded by the fact that the race has a 10k, half marathon and full marathon so there are plenty of runners.

Fortunately we set off early and were ready to start in plenty of time.  I encountered a new experience at this race before the gun had even gone off.  As I’m not the fastest of runners I will always take my rightful place towards the pack of the pack, however on this occasion I was running with someone who was determined to break their PB and run under 2 hours.  With so many starters we didn’t want t spend the first 10 minutes of the race doing the usual ‘zig-zag’ and so we headed straight to the front of the start line and positioned ourselves directly behind the elite runners!

We then had about 15-20 minutes to wait before the gun went off.  Despite it already being dark the temperature hadn’t dropped and there had been a recent downpour so the humidity was very high.  My running companion further added to my stress about the heat by mentioning that even by her standards (she has lived in Singapore for many years) tonight was very hot and very humid!

By the time the gun went off I’d already consumed most of the water I was carrying and was looking forward to the first aid station.

I’d tried to acclimatise with 3-4 runs before the race but my body simply wasn’t used to the humidity.  By the time I’d hit the 7k mark I already felt more exhaisted than I did at the finish line of the Loch Ness Marathon I’d completed the year before.  To combat this I started to walk the aid stations in an attempt to cool down and drop my heart rate.  I’d read about the dangers of heat stroke and the issues around humidity meaning your body is unable to evaporate the sweat you produce which steadily increases your pulse.  This is exactly what was happening to me!  In a typical long run my pulst will rise to 150 and sometimes 160 which I can then sustain for several hours.  Based on a quick check during the race my HR was up around 200 and I had no option but to drop my pace (walk at a brisk pace for some sections) and throw as much cold water on my head as I could find.

The race itself was great in terms of the number of runners and as it’s basically an out and back route it’s reassuring when you hit the turnaround to see how many thousands of people are still behind you.  The main challenge however was the total lack of scenery and interest in the course.  Obviously it’s dark because the race is at night, there are large sections with little street lighting and the course is totally flat.  Looking back it was like running the enture race on a treadmill.

Still I pushed on knowing there was a medal waiting for me at the finish line.  As we made the final turn with 500m to go there were people who had collapsed on the final straight with medical crews around them (not a good sign).  At this point I still had plenty in the tank as my issue had been my HR getting too high rather than tired legs so I hit a sprint for the last 300m and passed 10-20 people before the line.

It was a great experience overall, I love running a race while on holiday (I’d done something similar in Toronto the previous year) and I have utter admiration for those running the full marathon that night in those conditions.  The biggest tip of the cap however should be reserved for the runners taking part in the Sundown Ultramatarthon 4 weeks later who ran 100k in the same heat and humidity, amazing!

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Juneathon 2011…

So, Obi Wan is going to be attempting to complete a Juneathon! What an earth is a Juneathon, I hear you say!?! You can read all about it here but basically, you go for a run everyday in June and then blog about it within 24 hours. Sounds simple doesn’t it but I’m sure that its going to be a real challenge. Running for 30 consecutive days, must be mad! Will keep you all informed of my progress but it starts on Wednesday 🙂

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Singapore Half Marathon – Pre-run report by ‘Delphine Vader’

 

Yes, I know it’s supposed to be a family holiday but what can you do when someone offers you a place at one of the biggest running festivals in the Far East?

The Sundown Marathon event includes a 10k, a Half Marathon, a full Marathon and an Ultra (100k!).  I had tried to book a place before coming out here but everything had already gone so I resigned myself to cheering a friend on from the sidelines.

Upon arrival I’m told that as long as I’m prepared to run under the name ‘Delphine!’ then I have a place.  That changed the focus of the trip as I’ve only run a max of 10k in the last 12 weeks so this certainly wasn’t going to be by fastest half.

I came back down to reality with a bump after my first training run at 7am one morning.  I’ve read about the effects of heat on performance but with the humidity above 80% and temperatures already approaching 30 degrees my performance was practically zero and I was walking after only 4k.  Suddenly 21k in these conditions is looking far more of a challenge.  I’ve managed another 2 runs with a 5-10% improvement in my performance each time but it’s amazing just how much the heat has impacted my heart rate when running.

During a long run my HR will tick along between 140-150 and at that rate I know I can continue all day (6.5 hours at the London Ultra and 11.5 hours in the Great Lakeland Challenge).  After a 5.5k run this week my HR was already at 180!  This means I’ve had to seriously re-think my race plan if I want to actually complete the distance, if I kept on at 180 I’d run out of gas well before the finish line.

After some research I can see that I haven’t the time to fully acclimatise and so I will need to try and get by HR back down during the run so that I don’t end up with heat stroke (a real possibility in these conditions and over this distance).

So, the plan will be to push on for the first 5-7k enjoying the running crowd, keeping the pace slow and keeping the fluids going down.  After that I expect I’ll be starting to struggle with heat and so I’ll walk the aid stations from that point on.  I’d expect that to be 30 seconds rest each 2k from that point.  The rest will be in the lap of the gods but hopefully I’ll fill in the rest on my next posting.

So, if you’re in Singapore tonight at 8pm and you see a guy in a yellow Jedi Joggers top with ‘Vader’ on the back (and ‘Delphine’ on the race number) then give me a cheer!

Rob (aka Delphine Vader)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wallingford 10K Thames Run…

The Jedi Joggers are now fully rested following the Hull 10k and are looking forward to their next challenge. Graham and Mark are in training for the Wallingford 10k Thames Run on 5th June 2011. Training is going well with both Jedi Joggers trying hard to improve their best 10k times. In addition to wanting to break our personal bests there is added incentive to do well as we will be competing against the Sith Sloggers! The Sith Sloggers are a rival group of runners with whom we share a large amount of banter, usually on Twitter (@jedijoggers and @sithsloggers)!

Jedi Joggers Logo

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That Was The Week That Was…

It’s been a really exciting week for The Jedi Joggers and collectively we have achieved a lot over the last five days or so. On Sunday morning we took part in the Run For All Mini Fun Run.

Mini Fun Run Medal

Then in the evening the Reservoir Joggers video was filmed, edited and posted. Tuesday saw us featured on the Yorkshire Evening Post website and also in print on Page 3 of the paper.

We are in the paper!

Then, on Thursday evening we were filmed in Ilkley Park by Calendar News and a short piece was shown at the end (27 minutes in) of Friday’s early evening news. Just click on the link to view it 🙂 As a result of all this hard work we have had an increased number of people visiting our website and watching our videos.

More importantly however, people have been very generously pledging money on the Just Giving page and we have already exceeded our target. For that to happen before the event has taken place is fantastic news and we would like to thank you everyone who has donated to this great local charity. Fingers crossed we will exceed our target by quite some distance when the final pleadges are counted.

So, is that it? Have we finished? Job done?

Far from it! As you will know, we are running in the Hull 10k tomorrow! The culmination of all this hard work. In some respects, running the 10k will be the most enjoyable part of this last week. Getting the old trainers on and meeting the other runners will be great. Our intention is to start together and to finish together and to have lots of fun on the way round.

So, if you are planning to come and watch the race then please look out for us and give us a cheer. It would be great to get as much support as possible. Look out for Chewbacca, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, Han Solo and Obi Wan Kenobi pounding the street of Hull and hopefully, The Force will be with us!

Obi Wan is ready!

 
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May The Force Be With Us…

Well, what an extraordinary day!

The Jedi Joggers were filmed yesterday by ITV Calender News ~ Yorkshire!

They wanted to do a piece on us to promote our fund raising efforts. As many of you will know, we will be running the Run For All Hull 10k on Sunday 15/05/2011 in Star Wars Costumes. Chewbacca, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, Han Solo and Obi Wan Kenobi will be entertaining the crowds in Hull to try and help raise money for The Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

The Jedi Joggers

So, are we going to be on TV? Well, hopefully! The reporter, Laura, and her camerawoman, want to use our footage in tonight’s evening news (Friday 13th May 2011). Calendar News starts at 6pm on ITV1 and we should be on at the end of the program (fingers crossed!) unless there is some major breaking news that would take preference.

So, we need you all to keep your fingers and toes crossed for us. It would be fantastic for everyone involved if we were on the News as it would highlight the excellent work done by The Jane Tomlinson Appeal. I’m not going to giving away too much about the filming but there will be interviews, running, lightsaber wafting and much more so please tune in and support our efforts.

May The Force Be With Us 🙂

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Let’s go to Work…

Well…here it is, the final Jedi Joggers video! The fifth and final video in the series and what a season finale episode! Ladies and Gentlemen, we present to you, in glorious technicolor…

‘Reservoir Joggers’

We can do no more. Over the last few months we have provided you with superb blogs, entertaining videos and amusing photographs 🙂 But why?

One reason and one reason only. We are trying to raise money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal by running the Run For All Hull 10k on Sunday 15th May 2011 in full Star Wars costumes.

The Jedi Joggers

The Jedi Joggers

 So, hopefully, we have convinced you to help us support this deserving charity? You can do so by clicking on the Just Giving logo on the top right hand side of your screen 🙂

Thank You.

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